Forensic Ballistics Reviewer
Definition of Terms
ACP - Automatic Colt Pistol
Action - the working mechanism of a firearm. An action is the physical
mechanism that manipulates cartridges and/or seals the breech.
Air Gun - a gun that uses compressed air or gas to propel a projectile
also called air rifle, pellet rifle, pellet gun and gun.
Air Resistance - (Drag) decelerates the projectile with a force
proportional to the square of the velocity.
Ammunition - shall mean loaded shell rifle, muskets, carbine, shotguns,
revolver and pistol from which a bullet, ball, shot, shell or other
missiles may be fore by means of a gun powder or other explosives.
Anvil - An internal metal component in a boxer primer assembly
against which the priming mixture is crushed by the firing pin blow.
Anvil Marks - A term generally used by the military for a cartridge
with a full metal jacketed bullet or solid metal projectile.
Armalite – occasionally, the home of manufacturing company becomes
almost a generic term. It happens with the colt produced M16, which
has been designed and develop at Armalite. The Armalite business was
form by Charles Dorchester and George Sullivan in 1950. Armalite
employed Eugene Stoner, Chief Engineer and one of the top designer
of the country.
Automatic - when the mechanism is so arrange that it will fire
continuously when the trigger is depressed.
Automatic Action Type – a firearm design that feeds cartridges fires
and ejects cartridge cases as long as the trigger is fully depressed
and there is cartridge available in the feed system.
Barrel - metal tube through which the projectiles travel.
Berthold Schwartz - the inventor of gunpowder. His real name is
Constantin Anklitzen, a Franciscan monk in the town of Freiberg
Blowback - In firearm, an automatic and semi-automatic firearm design,
that directly utilizes the breech pressure exerted on the head of the
cartridge cases to actuate the mechanism. In ammunition, a leakage
of gas re-ward between the case and chamber wall from the mouth of
Bolt Action Type – a firearm in which the breech closure is
(1) in line with the bore at all times,
(2) manually reciprocated to load, unload and cock
(3) and is locked in place by breech bolt lugs and engaging abutments
usually in the receiver.
Bore - the interior of the barrel of a gun or firearm.
Breechface - is the front part of the breechblock that makes contact
with the cartridge in a firearm. The breech block (or breechblock) in
a gun is what holds a round in the chamber, and absorbs the recoil
of the cartridge when the round is fired, preventing the cartridge
case from moving.
Broach Cutter - used to create a rifling impressions on a barrel.
Broach, Gang – A tool having a series of cutting edges of slightly
increasing height used to cut the spiral grooves in a barrel. All
groves are cut with a single pass of the broach.
Broach, Single – a non-adjustable rifling cutter which cuts all the
grooves simultaneously, and is in a series of increasing dimensions
until the desired groove depth is achieved.
Browning, J.M. - born in 1855. Started the production of single shot
rifle that was adopted by Winchester.
Buckshot - coarse lead shot used in shotgun shells. Lead pellets
ranging in size from .20 inches to .36 inch diameter normally
loaded in shotshells.
Buffer - in a firearm, any part intended to absorb shock and check
Bullet - a projectile propelled from the firearm. A metallic or non
metallic cylindrical projectile. Originated from the French word
“BOULETTE”, a small ball. In common police par lane, a bullet maybe
Two Basic Types of Commercial Bullets in Common Used Today.
1. Lead Bullets - are used in almost all revolver ammunition
and in some low or medium powder rifle cartridges.
Are produced in automatic swedging machine from extruded wire
containing the proper percentage of tin and antimony for
2. Jacketed Bullets - are used for automatic pistols ammunition
and medium and high power rifle ammunition. The most common
are those from the blowback- .25 ACP, .380 ACP, 9mm luger,
.45 ACP (Automatic Colt Pistol) and several types of high
velocity .30s. These are all made automatically by swedging
a cup of metal around a lead core.
Armor-Piercing Bullets - is pointed flat base bullet with
gliding metal jacket. The core is of pointed, boat-tailed shape
and is made of harden tungsten, chrome steel and has a blackened
tip. Used to penetrate armored cars and vehicles.
Tracer Bullet - when fired, emit a light red flame from its base,
there by showing the gunner the trace of flame, the path as well
as the striking point of the bullet, the flame continuing to burn
and trace for about 600 yards. These are intended primarily for
machine gun use and can be seen by day and night. The point of
the bullet colored red is for identification. These are used only
in the military service, and were never sold to individuals.
Should an individual obtain one or more of these cartridges,
he should at once return it to military control or else dispose
of these by throwing into a deep river or lake, as they are
exceedingly dangerous to have around. This should never be
“Monkeyed” with, and particularly no attempt should be made to
unload them for examination, as these may ignite and cause
exceedingly serious burn or fire. The ingredients used in tracer
and igniter mixtures are confidential.
Incendiary Bullet - is similar in construction to a tracer bullet,
but the composition contained in the cavity burns fiercely impact
with a very hot flame which will quite reliably ignite anything
that the bullet strikes. For identification purposes the
incendiary bullet has a light blue color. The same precaution
should be observed as with tracer cartridges.
Dum-Dum Bullet - this word and type of bullet were invented by
British Ordinance force stationed at their arsenal at Dum-Dum,
India. The British army was engaged in extensive Punitive
expedition on the Northwest Frontier of India, fighting against
Afghan and Pathan tribesmen. It soon develop that such a full
jacketed bullet was of no practical effect against primitive
natures. So the English made some of these bullets expanding
by grinding of the nose of the jacketed bullet. These are now
known as Hallow Point bullet and Soft Point Bullet.
Gas Check Bullet - to prevent the melting of the base, lead
bullets intended to be fired at higher velocity have their gases
protected with a small copper cups. The bullet is casts with a
slightly tape-ring base, and the copper gas chock is then pressed
lightly on the bore, the cup remaining on the bullet when it
Wad Cutter Bullet - a cylindrical bullet design having a sharp
shouldered nose intended to cut target paper clearly to
facilitate easy and accurate soaring.
Wax Bullet - a bullet made from paraffin and other wax
preparation usually used for short range indoor target shooting.
Marks Found Of Fired Bullets
1. Landmarks - depressed portion caused by the lands.
2. Groove Marks - raised on elevated portions caused by the
3. Skid Marks - when the bullet enters the rifled bore from
a stationary position and is forced abruptly into the
rifling, its natural tendency is to go straight toward
before encountering the regular rifling twist.
4. Slippage Marks - bullets fired from a worn-out barrel,
oily barrels and slightly oversized bullets.
5. Shaving Marks - most commonly these marks are found on the
bullets fires from a revolver due to a poor alignment of
the cylindrical with the bore.
Identification of a Bullet - Principles
1. No two barrels are microscopically identical as the surfaces
of their bores all possess individual and characteristics
on their own.
2. When a bullet is fired from a rifled barrel, it becomes
engraved by the riflings and this engraving will vary in
its minute details with every individual bore. So it happens
that the engravings on the bullet fired from one barrel will
be different from that on a similar bullet fired from another
barrel. And conversely the engraving on bullets fired from
the same barrel will be the same.
3. Every barrel leaves its thumb marks on every bullet which
is fired through it, just as every breech face leaves its
thumb marks on the base of every fired cartridge case.
Test Bullet - a bullet fired from a bullet recovery system for
Bullet Recovery System - Any method which will allow the undamaged
recovery of a fired bullet. Differing systems are needed for different
cartridges depending upon bullet composition, jacket thickness, and
velocity. Water tanks and cotton boxes are most commonly in use.
Bullet Splash - The spatter and fragmentation of a bullet upon
impacting a hard surface.
Bullet Wipe - The discolored area on the immediate periphery of a
bullet hole, caused by bullet lubricant, lead, smoke, bore debris,
or possible jacket material. Sometimes called "Burnishing" or
Button – a hardened metal plug, called a button, with a rifled cross
section configuration. It is pushed or pulled through a drilled and
reamed barrel so as to cold form the spiral grooves to the desired
depth and twist. When the carbide button was first introduced it was
described as a SWAGING PROCESS or SWAGED RIFLING.
Caliber - the diameter of the bore of a rifled firearm. The caliber is
usually expressed in hundredths of an inch or millimeters.
Land to Land - the way to determine the caliber of a gun is to
measure the diameter of the bore from land to land.
Cane gun, Knife pistols - many devices primarily designed for another
purposes will have a gun mechanism incorporated in them.
(also known as FREAKISH DEVICE)
Cannelure - a circumferential groove generally of a knurled or plain
appearance on a bullet or cartridge. These three uses including
crimping, lubrication and identification.
Cartridge - a term to describe a complete un-fired unit, consisting
of bullet, primer, cartridge case and gunpowder.
Test Cartridge Case - a cartridge case obtain while test firing
a firearm in a laboratory to be used for comparison or analysis.
Function Of Cartridge Cases
1. It holds the bullet gunpowder and primer.
2. It serves as a water proof container for the gunpowder.
3. It prevents the escape of gases to the rear.
Marks Found on Cartridge Cases
1. Firing pin impression – the indentation in the primer of a
tentative cartridge case or in the rim of a rimface
cartridge case cause when it is struck by the firing pin.
2. Breechface Markings – negative impression of the breechface
of the firearm found on the head of the cartridge case
3. Chamber Marks – individual microscope marks placed upon a
cartridge case by the chamber wall as a result of any of
b. Expanding during firing
4. Extractor Marks – toolmarks produced upon a cartridge case
form contact with the extractor. These are usually found on
or just ahead of the rim.
5. Ejector Marks – toolmarks produced upon a cartridge or
cartridge case on the head, generally at or near the rim,
form contact with the ejector.
Cape Gun – a doubled-barreled shoulder arm with barrel side by side :
one being smooth bore and the other being rifled.
Case Head - The base of the cartridge case which contains the primer.
Cast-Off - the off-set of the butt of a firearm to the right handed
shooter and to the right for a left-handed shooter.
Cast-On - the offset of the butt of a firearm to the left for a
right-handed shooter and to the right for a left handed shooter.
Chamber - the rear part of the barrel bore that has been formed to
accept a specific cartridge. Revolver cylinders are multi-chambered.
Cock - place a firing mechanism under a spring tension. Raise the cock
of (a gun) in order to make it ready for firing.
Full Cock - the position of the hammer or strike when the
firearm is ready to fire.
Compensator - (MuzzleBrake) a device attached to or integral with the
muzzle end of the barrel to utilize propelling gases for counter-recoil.
CETME - Centro dos Studios Technicos de Materiales Especiales. This
is Spanish government weapon development agency, based in Madrid.
Class Characteristics - Are those characteristics which are determinable
only after the manufacture of the firearm. They are characteristics
whose existence is beyond the control of man and which have random
distribution. There existence in the firearms is brought about by
the tools in their normal operations resulting through wear and tear,
abuse, mutilation, corrosion, erosion and other fortuitous causes.
Classification of Cartridge According to Rim
1. Rimmed Type - the diameter of the rim is greater than the
diameter of the body of the cartridge case. e.g. caliber
.38 and caliber .22.
2. Semi-Rimmed Type- the diameter of the rim is slightly
greater than the diameter of the body of the cartridge case.
e.g. caliber .25. 32 auto. Super .38.
3. Rimless Type - the diameter of the rim is equal to the body
of the cartridge case. e.g. caliber .5.56mm, .30, .9mm, .45.
4. Rebated Type- the diameter of the rim is smaller than the
body of the cartridge case. e.g. caliber 8mm x 59.
5. Belted Type - there is a protruding metal around the body
of the cartridge case near the rim. e.g. caliber 338 magnum
13.9 x 39
Colt - Samuel Colt was born on July 1814 in was to be instrumental
in making the revolver a practical type of pistol.
Cylinder - storage for ammunition in a revolver, the cylinder rotates
as the action is cocked.
DAMSCUS - an obsolete barrel making process the barrel is formed by
twisting or braiding together steel and iron wires or bars. Sometimes
called LAMINATED BARREL.
Derringer, Henry - born in the beginning of 19th century. Worked at
Philadelphia where he manufactured Pocket Pistol.
Drilling - refers to a combination gun that has three barrels.
Ejector Rod - metal rod used to help with the removal of the cartridges.
Energy Bullet - the capacity of a projectile to do work.
Firearms Identification - a discipline mainly concerned with determining
whether a bullet or cartridge was fired by a particular weapon.
Firing Pin - is a lightweight part, which serves to transfer energy
from a spring-loaded hammer to the primer, while a striker is
usually heavier, and is directly connected to the spring providing
the energy to impact the primer.
Flare guns - used in cases such in sending signals and enabling to
see enemies in the dark.
Forensic Ballistics - A scientific study of firearm identification
with the use of laboratory examination. The subject gives emphasis
on the study of ammunitions, projectiles, gunpowder, primer and
explosives, including the use of the bullet comparison microscope.
It also deals with the principles in the microscopic and
macroscopic examination of firearm evidence and the preparation of
reports for legal proceedings in the solution of cases involving
Types of Problems in Forensic Ballistics
1. Given a bullet to determine the caliber and type of firearm
from which it was fire.
2. Given fired cartridge case, to determine the caliber and
type of firearm from which it was fired.
3. Given a bullet and a suspected firearm, to determine whether
or not the bullet was fired from the suspected firearm.
4. Given a fired cartridge case a suspected firearm, to determine
whether or not the cartridge was fired from the suspected
5. Given two or more bullets, to determine whether or not they
were fired from only one firearm.
6. Given two or more cartridge cases, to determine whether or
not they were fired.
Equipments used In A Ballistics Laboratory
1. Comparison Microscope - This valuable instrument is specially
designed to permit the firearm examiner to determine the
similarity and dissimilarity between two fired bullets or
two fired cartridge cases by simultaneously observing their
magnified image. It is actually two microscope couple together
with a single or two eye piece, so that when one looks through
this comparison eye piece, he is seeing one half of what is
under the other – in other words, half of the evidence bullet
and half of the test bullet.
2. Stereoscope Microscope - This is generally used in the
preliminary examination of fired bullets and fired shells.
To determine the location of the extractor marks and ejector
marks for orientation purposes. It can be used also in one
close-up examination of tampered serial numbers of firearms.
3. Comparison Projector - CP6 This is generally used in the
preliminary examination of fired bullets and fired shells.
To determine the location of the extractor marks and ejector
marks for orientation purposes. It can be used also in one
close-up examination of tampered serial numbers of firearms.
4. Bullet Recovery Box - For obtaining best fired bullet or
test fired cartridge cases from the suspected firearms
submitted to the ballistics laboratory. In test firing
suspected firearms, it is standard procedure to used
ammunition that are of the same caliber, make or brand and
manufactured in the same year with that of the evidence
bullet or shell.
Water is one of the means to obtain test bullets and test
shells because the microscope marks on the cylindrical or
peripheral surface of the bullets are preserved for good
used. The same is true with cotton.
5. Measuring Projector - MP6 This projector determines the
width of the lands, width of grooves, diameter and twist
of fired bullets.
6. Verneir Caliper - This instrument determines the bullet
diameter and barrel length.
7. Analytical Balance - This more or less determines the weight
of the bullets, shots and pellets for possible type, caliber
and make for firearm from which they were fired.
8. Taper Gauge - Used for determining the diameter of the bore
of the firearms.
9. Onoscope - For examining the interior surface of the barrel.
10.Helixometer - For measuring the pitch of the rifling. Pitch
of rifling is the distance advanced by the rifling in one
complete turn or a distance traveled by the bullet in one
11.Chronograph - For determining the speed of the bullet or
the muzzle velocity of the bullet.
Fouling - the residual deposits remaining in the bore of a firearm
Garand, John C. - was born in North Carolina in 1818. Developed the
hang-ranked machine gun. A development of Duver Gatling type of
Gas Guns – these will be found in all shapes and sizes and used for
firing tear gas and other forms of disabling gases.
Gas Operated - an automatic or semi-automatic firearm in which the
propellant gases are used to unlock the breech bolt and then to
complete the cycle of extracting and expecting.
Gas Port - an opening in the wall of a barrel to allow gas to
operate a mechanism or reduce recoil.
Grip - handle of the handgun.
Gunpowder - any of the various powder used in firearms as propellant
Types of Gunpowder
1. Black powder - consists of the jet black and rather shiny
grains. Although black powder has been in used for about
six centuries, and although methods of manufactured are
naturally led to greater efficiency in action, its
composition has remained practically the same in all
2. Smokeless Powder - a mixture of nitrocellulose 60 parts,
nitroglycerine 35 parts and Vaseline 5 parts. These
substances are almost entirely smokeless in action. They are
all given the generic term of nitro powders and are legion in
number. All nitro powders used 2. in rifles, pistols, and
revolvers are a gelatinized powder that is they are made by
forming dough into sticks or grains. The identification of
partially burnt powder grains may become a matter of vital
importance, since such grains maybe found around the entrance
hole of a wound, and it will obviously help if the type of
powder can be identified from these unburnt grains.
Hammer - part that strikes the primer to cause ignition.
Hammerli, Johann Ulrich - hammerli weapons has always been the
epitome of Swiss precision Engineering ability.
Handgun - a revolver or a pistol.
Harpoon Guns - barbed spear in hunting large fish.
Headspace - is the distance measured from the part of the chamber
that stops forward motion of the cartridge (the datum reference) to
the face of the bolt.
Headstamp - numerals, letters and symbols stamped into the head of
the cartridge case or shotshell to identify the manufacture caliber
gauge or give additional information.
Heckler and Kock – Edmond Heckler has been a plant manager with
Mauser, and Alex Siedel a designer with Mauser.
Hook – a cutting tool which cuts has hook shape and only cuts one
grooves at a time.
Keyhole - an oblong or an oval hole in a target that is produced by
an unstable bullet striking the target at an oblique angle to the
bullets. Longitudinal axis.
Leading - the accumulation of lead in the bore of a firearm from the
passage of lead shot or bullet. Also called METAL FOULING.
Lever Action Type – a design wherein the breech mechanism is cycled
by an external lever generally below the receiver.
Liberator – made by the US government for use in occupied countries
in Europe during the recent war and fired the .45ACP cartridge,
single shot and smooth bore.
Lubaloy - is a wrought copper alloy that is composed mainly of copper
and zinc. In 1922, the Western Cartridge Company introduced a
copper-washed bullet jacketing called Lubaloy which stands for
lubricating alloy. Lubaloy replaced standard bullet jacketing which
had been cupro-nickel coated steel or solid cupro-nickel.
Luger, George - was born in Australia in 1849. he did lasting designed
work in connection with 9mm Parabellum cartridge.
Machine Gun Type – primarily used only in military combat and will
seldom be encountered by the firearms technician.
Machine Markings - a cross section of a gun barrel will show small
grooves or striations all along the lands and grooves.
Marlin, John Mahlon - New Haven, Connecticut manufacturer of lever
action rifle, 1800’s.
Mauser - Paul and Wilhelm brothers produced parts of the rifle which
had been adopted by the German government in 1871.
Mossberge, Oscar - born in Sweden in 1866 and went to the United
States. The maker of high quality .22 rifles. Sporting rifles and
pump action shotguns.
Mossin, Sergei - Colonel of Russia Army. Designated in Russian Service
Rifle in 1891.
Multi –Barreled guns – in particular one will find guns having the
three or four barrels are mounted in one receiver. Some may have
a combination of several different gauges of shotguns, or a
combination of shotgun barrels and rifle barrel.
Muzzle - the end of the barrel through which the bullet exits.
Muzzle Energy - is the kinetic energy of a bullet as it is expelled
from the muzzle of a firearm. It is often used as a rough indication
of the destructive potential of a given firearm or load.
Nambu, Kijiro - an army gun officer designer. His first design was
produced by the Kayoba Factory in 1904.
Paradox - an obsolete barrel designed in which the major length of
the barrel is smooth and last few inches are rifled.
Pen Gun - a small caliber firearm shaped like a pen or pencil.
Powder - commonly used term for the propellant in a cartridge or
Pressure - in a firearm, the force developed by the expanding gasses
generated by the combustion of the propellant.
Primer - The ignition components of cartridge primers are used for
igniting prominent. A blow from the firing pin of the firing cup
compresses the priming composition to detonate. This detonation
produces a flame which passes through the vent of flesh hole in the
cartridge case, igniting the gunpowder.
Composition of a Primer
1. Potassium Chlorate - 45%
2. Antimony Sulfide - 23%
3. Fulminate of Mercury - 32%
Proofmark - a distinctive symbol stamped into the metal of the barrel
or other part of a firearm to indicate that testing of the part bearing
the stamp by firing proof loads has been carried out.
Proof Test - is a form of stress test to demonstrate the fitness of a
load-bearing structure. The firing of a deliberate overload to test the
strength of a firearm barrel an action.
Rachet - a notched wheel on the rear of a revolver cylinder to rotate
when a force is applied by a level hold a hand.
Recoil - (often called knockback, kickback or simply kick) is the
backward momentum of a gun when it is discharged. In technical terms,
the recoil caused by the gun exactly balances the forward momentum of
the projectile and exhaust gases (ejecta), according to
Newton's third law.
Reload - a cartridge, which have been reassembled with a new primer,
powder and or other components.
Repeating Arms – this type is loaded with more than cartridge into
the chamber when it is fired rather having to perform this operation
Resizing - the reduction in diameter of a fire cartridge case to
unfired diameter by forcing it into die of smaller size than the
Ricochet - is a rebound, bounce or skip off a surface, particularly in
the case of a projectile.
Rifling - refers to helical grooves in the barrel of a gun or
firearm, which imparts a spin to a projectile around its long axis.
Types of Riflings
1. Steyr Type - four lands, four grooves, right hand twist and
lands or equal widths ( 4-R-G=L) used in earlier
2. Smith and Wesson Type - five lands and five grooves, right
hand twist and lands of equal width (5-R-G=L)
3. Browning Type- six lands, six grooves, right hand twist,
narrow lands and broad grooves. (6-R-G-2x)
4. Colt Type- six lands and six grooves, left hand twist, narrow
lands and broads grooves. (6-L-G-2x)
5. Webley Type- seven lands, seven grooves, right hand twist,
narrow lands and broad grooves. (7-R-G3x)
6. Army Type- four lands and four grooves, right hand twist,
narrow lands and broad grooves. ( 4-R-G3x)
Round - a military term for a cartridge.
Scrape – a cutting tool which cuts two opposing grooves at a time.
Shocking Power - the ability of a projectile to dissipate its kinetic
energy effectively in a target.
Shot - a small ball or pellet of lead, a number of which are loaded
in a cartridge and used for one charge of a shotgun.
Birdshot - the smallest size of shot for sporting rifles or
Shotshell - a cartridge containing projectile designed to be fired
in a shotgun. The cartridge body maybe metal, plastic or paper.
Semi-Automatic Type – A firearm requiring a separate pull of the
trigger for each shot fired, and which uses the energy of discharge
to perform a portion of the operating or firing cycle.
Serial Number - a number applied to a firearm in order to identify the
Shell - an explosive artillery projectile or bomb.
Identification of Shells - Principles
1. The breech face and striker of every single firearm leave
microscopically individualities of their own.
2. The firearm leaves its “fingerprints” or “thumb mark” on
every cartridge case which it fires.
3. The whole principle of identification is based on the fact
that since the breech face of every weapon must be
individually distinct, the cartridge cases which it fires are
imprinted with this individuality. The imprint on all cartridge
cases fired from the same weapon are always the same, those
on cartridge cases fired form different weapons must always
Shotgun - a smooth-bore gun for firing small shot at short range.
a. Single Barreled shotgun – it is loaded with a single shotgun
cartridge, closed. Fired and then re-loaded by the shooter.
b. Double barreled shotgun – the two barrels may be side by side
or they may be one over the other. Each barrel may have its
c. Pump action shotgun - operates in the same manner as a slide
action rifles, by means of sliding lever under the barrel.
d. Auto loading shotguns - these are the same as auto-loading or
self-loading rifles in that the recoil action reloads the gun
form the magazine without any effort on the part of the shooter.
SIG - (SCHWEIZERISCHE INDUSTRIE CESSELSHALF) adopted by the Swiss
government as their standard service weapon. The company started to
produced railway engines and carriage in 1853.
Sidelock – A design in which the firing mechanism is attached to a
sideplate rather than being integral with the frame.
Sight - device used for aiming.
Silencer - a device attach to the barrel of the firearm to reduce
the noise of discharge. Also called SOUND SUPPRESSOR.
Single Shot Firearms – those type of firearms that is designated to
shoot only one shot.
Slide Action Type – a firearm which features a movable forearm which
is manually actuated in motion parallel to the barrel by the shooter.
Forearm motion is transmitted to a breech blot assembly which performs
all the function of the firing cycle assigned to it by the design.
Also known as PUMP ACTION.
Sling - a strap fasten to a firearm to assist in carrying or to
steady it during firing. A sling may also refer to a projectile
weapon typically used to throw a blunt projectile such as a stone,
clay or lead "sling-bullet".
Slug - a projectile generally fired from a shotgun either one large
piece of lead or several smaller caliber pieces.
Rifled Slug - a simple projectile in spiral grooves and hollow
base, intended to use in shotgun. The slug will rotate, and
thus, reach its target much more accurate.
Smith and Wesson - Horace Smith and Daniel B. Wesson formed a
partnership in 1852. They manage by producing what is probably the
best double-action revolver in the world. (Daniel Wesson left the
company to set up his own firearm business).
Smoke Ring - the circular gray deposits around the face of the chamber
of a revolver produce by gun powder residues upon discharge.
Stock - also known as a shoulder stock, a buttstock, or simply a
butt is a part of a rifle or other firearm, to which the barrel and
firing mechanism are attached, that is held against one's shoulder
when firing the gun.
Striations - (Striae) When a bullet is fired through a rifled barrel,
the raised and lowered spirals of the rifling etch fine grooves called
"striations" into the bullet.
Characteristics of Striations Depend Upon The ff: Factors
1. The size and shape of the microscopic irregularities on
the acting tool.
2. The original surface smoothness of the object acted upon.
3. Relative hardness of the two materials.
4. Speed of application or rate of relative motion.
5. Pressure areas involved
6. Texture and uniformity of material acted upon.
Submachine Type – is alight, portable machine gun which uses pistol
size ammunition. It differs from a pistol in it that has a shoulder
stock which may or may not fold but is designed to be fired by the
use of both hands.
Swage – an internal mandrel with rifling configuration which forms
rifling in the barrel by means of the external hammering. Also known
as HAMMER FORGING.
Tattoing - small hemorrhagic marks on the skin produce by the impact
of gun powder particles also called STRIPPLING.
Thompson, John - born in 1860 in Newport, Kentucky. Designed the
Thompson submachine gun in 1920.
Thumb Rest - a ledge in the grip area of a rifle or hand gun in which
to rest the thumb of the trigger hand.
Trailing Edge - the edge of a land or groove impression in a fire
bullet which is opposites the driving edge of the same land or
Trajectory - the curved path of a projectile from muzzle to target.
Trap Door – An action in which a top hinged breechblock pivots up
and forward to open. Locking on this action is accomplished by a
cam located at the rear of the breechblock that fits into a
mating recess. Also known as a CAM LOCK.
Trigger - is a mechanism that actuates the firing of firearms.
Trigger Guard - trigger guard is a loop surrounding the trigger of
a firearm and protecting it from accidental discharge.
Trigger Pull - the amount of force, which must firearm to cause sear
Tokarev, Fedor - born in Egorlikshaya in 1971. Designed the service
pistol of the Soviet forces.
Tool Marks Identification - is a discipline of forensic science which
has, as its primary concern to determine if a tool mark was produced
by a particular tool.
Two General Type of Tool Marks
1. Impression Type - which as its name implies a little more than
a bent. A pry-bar may leave an impression type-mark on a window
frame to which is applied. The shape and the size of the mark,
plus irregularities cause by nicks or breaks in the pry-bar,
may be such as to permit a positive statement as to its source.
2. Striated Tool Mark- is left by a tool scrapping over an object
or surface softer than him. Thus, a pry-bar which slips during
the application may scraped over the jamb of a door, leaving
striate. Tin Snips or Bolt Cutter have blades which frequently
leave striate on the edges of metal cut. An axe will leave
striate on wood chips, as well as the auger or blade of a
plane. Mechanical tool as a planner, joiner, and lathe all
have blades and edges which leaves striate on chips, shaving
and stock being worked. Many examples should be given but
these are typical if the tool most commonly encountered in
the criminal investigations. Striated marks are often referred
to a “friction marks”, abrasion marks or “scratched marks”.
Tools – there are a number of tools using cartridges which are
designed to drive studs, punch holes or cut tables. Such tools may
be encountered in the investigation of an accident.
Traps – these are designed to be set in the woods and left where
animals will encounter them. They may fire a bullet or a poison
charge, depending on their construction.
Trigger - small lever that is pulled or squeezed to start the firing
Trigger Guard - piece that surrounds the trigger to protect it from
being accidentally squeezed or bumped.
Velocity - the speed of the projectile at a given point along its
Vierling - A four-barreled gun, typically with two identical shotgun
barrels and with two rifle barrels of differing calibres. Built
primarily in Germany and Austria.
Walther, Carl - developed a reliable small caliber automatic pistol
Walker Test - the original chemical test for the detection of spatial
distributions of nitrites in gun powder residue.
Winchester, Oliver - he led the formation of the Winchester Company.
Types Of Cartridge Case According To Location Of Primer
1. Pin-Fire Cartridge - the pin extent radially through the bead of
the cartridge case into the primer. This type of cartridge is no longer use.
2. Rim-Fire Cartridge- the priming mixture is place in the cavity
formed in the rim of the head of the cartridge case.
3. Center-Fire Cartridge- the primer cup is force to the middle
portion of the head of the cartridge case.
4. Percussion - a means of ignition of propellant change by a
mechanical blow against the primer or percussion cap.
a. Low Power - a cartridge giving a muzzle velocity of less
than 1850 ft/sec.
b. High Power- a cartridge giving a muzzle velocity of between
1925 and 2500 ft/sec.
c. High Intensity- a cartridge giving a muzzle velocity over
Yaw - the angle between longitudinal axis of a projectile and the
line of the projectile trajectory.
Zip guns - these may be in any form, since the name has been applied
to all homemade guns. A great many of this class will be found to
be exceedingly clever mechanisms and most effective weapon.
Zwilling - European term for a double barreled shoulder arm with one
rifle and one smooth bore barrel.
Basic Gun Terminology
RA 10591 Comprehensive Firearms and Ammunition Regulation Act
History of Firearms (Timeline)